The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

You have probably heard about turmeric, seen it at the store, or even tried it for yourself. Turmeric, and its active component curcumin, have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Turmeric and curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, and many studies have already been, and are currently being conducted. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong antioxidant. Turmeric is only about 3% curcumin, so making sure you take a supplement with adequate amounts of curcumin is essential. In this article, we will explore the amazing health benefits of turmeric and what this spice can do for you.

Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice related to ginger. Turmeric is a common spice in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cooking. Recently, turmeric has been labeled a superfood, making it more widely available. Turmeric is not absorbed very well into the bloodstream, but you can help aid absorption by consuming it with black pepper. Black pepper contains a natural substance called piperine which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%. You may have heard about turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects, but turmeric can do even more for you than that. Let’s take a look at the various ways turmeric can benefit your health.

Turmeric powder

  1. Depression: It has been suggested that turmeric can help ease depression and even enhance the effects of antidepressants. One study implied that curcumin had a similar effect to Prozac, an antidepressant. As of now, more research is needed in this area.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: Curcumin has been shown to help decrease inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady. Limited research has shown curcumin’s potential to lower the odds of pre-diabetics developing diabetes. 
  3. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): One study showed that curcumin supplements decreased PMS symptoms in women. Curcumin may also help relieve menstrual cramps. 
  4. Arthritis: Due to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, many people have turned to it for arthritis pain relief. Turmeric has shown promise for relief from joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, but more research is needed.
  5. Cancer: Although we only know how turmeric affects tumor cells in animals, the results are exciting. In lab and animal studies, turmeric has stopped the growth of tumors and enhanced the effect of detoxifying enzymes. As of now, we do not know how turmeric acts in the human body in relation to cancer or if it interferes with chemotherapy drugs.

Turmeric powder in wooden spoons

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): In one pilot study of 207 adults, it was found that turmeric helped ease IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain. 
  2. Brain Function: The neurons in our brains are capable of forming new connections, which is essential for learning, memory, and well-being. One of the main drivers of this process is a growth hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s have been linked to lower levels of BDNF. Amazingly, curcumin can increase levels of BDNF in the brain. By doing so, curcumin may be able to delay or even reverse brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.
  3. Heart Disease: Curcumin may be able to play a role in reversing many of the steps in the process of developing heart disease. Curcumin improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. When the endothelium is not functioning properly, it cannot regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and other processes and can lead to heart disease. Several studies have suggested that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial functioning. As mentioned, curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation which are factors in heart disease.

To conclude, turmeric, and specifically, curcumin, show significant promise for improving health. Many people have experienced great results from the use of turmeric, and research in this area seems to have an exciting future. Try it for yourself and experience the benefits!

 

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